I was thinking lately about a modern habit of not having enough sleep. All of us cut on sleep. There is always something more important to do than have a full night rest. Always. Recently, I realized that I need to reconsider this because sleep is such an essential part of my life.

Although it is said we should sleep eight hours a day, how much sleep a person actually needs is individual and everyone should listen to her body. One thing is clear, if you don’t get enough sleep you gain weight, you are not happy, you are ill more often, your immune system can break down and so on. Let me tell you what to do about it!

Why You Need to Sleep More

The Immune System Will Benefit

Lack of sleep has a bad effect on your immunity. You are much more susceptible to get the flu or some other illness when your body is not rested. Although it’s not proved, some scientists say that you are up to 3 times more likely to get a cold when you sleep less than your body needs to.

You Will Be Happier

Yes, you are happier when you sleep well. Everybody is, no doubt about it. It’s much easier to keep yourself in a good mood when you sleep enough. You can’t live your life to the fullest if you are tired.

You Will Lose Weight

There are two reasons for this.

  1. You are too tired to go running or do some exercise, you might be even too tired to cook a healthy meal or go shopping to buy something and then you end up eating unhealthy fast-food or snack.
  2. Your brain is more tired, your body is more tired and they ask you for energy. What is the first thing your body wants when you are tired? Sleep. And second? Food. Automatically, you are going to be hungrier than on days when you are rested.

Your Overall Health Will Benefit

When your body is refreshed, all of your organs are refreshed too so they function well. The stomach can digest properly, kidneys can filter water, the brain can think, everything’s working. Have you ever experienced that shaking when you didn’t sleep enough? Yeah, that’s wrong and it shouldn’t occur.

Your Memory and Concentration Will Get Better

Just an addition to what was already said, you can concentrate much better when you are recovered after a good night sleep. Your brain works faster and you can focus on what you are doing. Scientists proved that having lack of sleep for more than a couple of days may cause you troubles remembering things and not even that – you will remember them differently than they actually happened.

Phases of Sleep

Do you know what happens to you when you sleep? As you fall asleep your body temperature, heartbeat, and blood pressure drop. Your body recovers and starts to produce important hormones such as cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin, which are essential for your immunity, health, and also control over hunger and eating habits.

REM

This is the time of your sleep when you are dreaming. This phase is only about 25% of the whole sleeping time. It occurs every hour and a half and it actually provides the energy for the brain and body. This phase is also helping you to wake up in the morning.

Non-REM

It’s the other 75% of your sleeping time. Your muscles are relaxed, your blood pressure drops and your breathing is slow. During this phase, your body restores energy, rests, and recovers, so this phase is very important for recovering from stress, exercising or even injury. Usually, you don’t have any dreams during this phase.

How to Sleep Better

Get Earplugs

They really help. I use them every day for 8 years now and I can’t understand how could I sleep well without them before.

Get Eye Mask 

Another thing I use for a few years now. You might not need it if you like to sleep with a light on, but in case you are sensitive to light like me, eye mask is a must!

 No Electronic Devices in the Bedroom

This is what I suck at. I don’t even have any other alarm clock than my phone so I can’t prove it with my personal experience. However, many scientists would tell you that it is the best thing you can do for your restful sleep.

Get Some Fresh Air

Try to open the window for 5 minutes every day before you go to sleep. Fresh air will help your brain relax and your sleep will be better because you won’t have a lack of oxygen during the night. (I can prove that this works 🙂 ).

Manage the Light

Just set it right. If you don’t like light put an eye mask on if you do turn on some ambient light. Just don’t allow any light, like that annoying little red light on TV interrupt your sleep.

Take Advantage of Time Routine

If you go to sleep at the same time every day and you wake up at the same time every day, your body gets used to it and will automatically switch you off when it’s the time to go to bed.

Thank you so much for reading. Are you a sleepy head or you cut on your sleep often? Let me know. I’m curious.

Good night. Have a blissful sleep and stay positive. 🙂